First Committee
General Debate Statement
H E Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative

8 October 2018, New York

Thank you Mr Chair,

My Delegation wishes to congratulate you and the Members of the Bureau on your election. I assure you that you will have my Delegation’s full support as you steer the work of this Committee.

The primary purpose of the UN, as set out in the very first Article of the Charter, is to maintain international peace and security, and remove threats to the peace, by peaceful means. It is therefore very clear that the Founding Fathers of the UN sought to achieve peace and security through disarmament. The UN Charter’s vision of a peaceful and prosperous world can be achieved only through disarmament; divesting in arms production, and investing in reducing poverty, increasing our ability to adapt to climate change, and in guaranteeing fundamental human rights. That may sound Utopian, but it is the only realistic way forward. Agenda 2030 shows how. That is why this Committee’s work has to be closely aligned with the Second and Third Committees. We should practice what we preach. The holistic approach to peace and development can start at the Committee stages here in the General Assembly.

The Maldives has never produced any armaments or weapons of any type, nor do we have the desire to do so in the future. Maldivians have always believed that improving the quality of life of our people will make the Maldives secure and stronger. A stronger Maldives is good for the security of the Indian Ocean region. The Maldives believes that it is our moral obligation to work towards strengthening international disarmament regimes. The Maldives is a State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and several other disarmament instruments.

We can make progress in disarmament, especially in the discussions and negotiations in preventing the proliferation of WMDs only if there is trust and good faith among the parties. Recent developments in non-proliferation suggest on the need to uphold the fundamental characteristics of the international State-system, and the principles of multilateralism. There is an absolute need to ensure that the Security Council Resolutions that guide such discussions and decisions, are fully adhered to. The respect for international law must be promoted especially when it is most inconvenient to do so.

The threats that acts of terrorism pose to international peace and security is growing and multiplying every passing year. There is a need for a closer collaboration between the discussions in this Committee and the Sixth Committee to achieve greater synergy in shaping our recommendations in international peace and security.

The Maldives has always argued for mainstreaming non-traditional security threats in the discussions on international peace and security. Threats such as transitional organized crimes, terrorist attacks, as those identified in the General Assembly Resolution 49/31, and emerging threats, such as climate change, drive conflicts. Addressing such issues require going above and beyond the traditional discourse on security and disarmament. The Committee therefore may wish to expand its horizon and examine ways in which such issues could be addressed in a more holistic fashion.

If we are to succeed in the endeavour for a world without nuclear weapons, countries that possess nuclear weapons must dismantle their nuclear weapons programmes and renounce the possession of such weapons. The Maldives believes that we can achieve a world free of nuclear weapons but only through collective efforts of both nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons States. We must make global disarmament and non-proliferation a shared responsibility.

I thank you.